first_imgHe then answered with a question of his own, “Do you ride a bike? Me too. Some things you do not forget how to do.”Lovie has been entrenched in the coaching profession long enough to understand why the question is there from the media, parents, and among recruits, but he also understands how to approach it as well.“That question mark should be there, but like everything else, you attack it. Do you have a good product? The degree, what does it mean? Great school. Have any good football players come through the University of Illinois? Yeah. Red Grange. Dick Butkus played a little bit. Nitschke. Hardy. We have not consistently won, yes, but that is the draw.”“I would like to think I’m a people person, that I relate to people, that I can go into an environment and blend in. That’s what recruiting is. You meet different people from all different walks of life. A melting pot. And you have to be able to sell what we’re doing.”That advice should really help a number of guys out there looking to get back into college coaching after years away from the college game, as well as coaches who are self proclaimed “people persons” with no college coaching experience, but who are great at building relationships.Read the full piece, with comments from some other members of the new Illini staff on what Lovie brings to the table and the impression he’s leaving on recruits and their families early on, here. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Sponsored By Connatix Prior to being named head coach at Illinois on March 7th, Lovie Smith had spent the past two decades in the NFL, and while his hiring at Illinois certainly made quite the splash, many had doubts about his ability to connect and recruit with today’s high school prospects since both recruiting and kids have changed so much over the years.Finally, after fielding the same question on recruiting a few more times that he probably would have liked, Lovie shared with the Chicago Tribune the age old comparison of riding a bike.“It’s amazing, man,” Smith told the Tribune. “‘Lovie, you’re going to Illinois. You sure you can recruit? You haven’t recruited in a long time.’”last_img read more